You know what? We kind of live in a golden age of home cinema right now. As a kid my dream was a 32 inch TV, 32 inch these days would be classed as small. Anyway as a huge movie lover, movie night with the family is one of my favorite things to do. While we watch a lot of movies in the house, we also love to watch them outdoors as well. Sure you can do this on a little iPad and that is fine, but if you want the movies at home, you need a portable outdoor projector screen or if you want to go that extra mile an inflatable outdoor projector screen.
- 1 Inflatable Outdoor Projector Screen Section
- 2 Non Inflatable Portable Outdoor Projector Screen Section
- 3 Things To Consider When Buying An Outdoor Projector Screen
- 4 So What Is The Best Outdoor Projector Screen?
For a while, we used a white sheet draped over the garage wall, but once you have experienced the awesomeness of having your own large screen in the back yard there is no going back. I was lucky enough to be given the chance to check out four of the best outdoor projector screens ranging from standard flat to inflatable. I am a real movie buff so I have put each screen through its paces. So keep on reading to see what is the best outdoor projector screen.
Inflatable Outdoor Projector Screen Section
Inflatable Movie Screen – Huge Portable Outdoor Airblown 160 x 110 Inch
The first one we have to look at is huge and is from Holiday Styling! It is also the most expensive of all the outdoor projector screens I got to try. Currently, it is going for around 260 bucks, but to be fair it is one of the more high-end outdoor screens I have used. To start with, you have to inflate it, but it does actually come with a small air pump that blows it up in just a few minutes. It also comes with a set of ropes that are used to tie it down so it does not blow away and end up in the merry old land of Oz. One thing that is worth mentioning is that the actual screen is not permanently on the inflatable frame. This is not a bad thing though as it means you can keep the screen rolled up separately and safely and to me that gets a huge thumbs up.
Once the screen was set up it was time to watch a movie. Now, of course, the overall quality is going to depend on your projector, but overall my family and I were impressed with this. It is just so huge and cool looking that it is impossible not to be impressed. You can put the projector in front or behind it which is really cool. We played some PS4 and watched a couple of movies on here (Avengers: Age Of Ultron & Monsters University) and had no complaints about the quality at all. The screen is very smooth and flat, no crinkles or weird lines getting in the way and as long as you store it properly, you will not have any issues like that. There are a couple of not so great things. The first is the logo, why there needs to be a huge Holiday Styling logo printed on the bottom is beyond me. It is very distracting and not nice to look at. Also if you do not take the screen off when you let the air down you may damage the screen so please make sure you do
In all this is a great inflatable outdoor projector screen and it is quite the spectacle in your garden as well which is cool.
- Has a huge screen
- Projector can be placed behind it as well
- Very easy to install
- Comes with an air pump and ropes
- Has an ugly logo on the bottom
- Highest price outdoor screen on this list.
Sima XL-84POP 84″ Instant Portable Projection Screen Review
Next up we have this 84 inch inflatable outdoor projector screen from Sima. Ok so it is not exactly “Inflatable” but it is kind of the same thing. Instead of having a stand or rods, it pops up once taken out of the box and that is it. You know those kids pop up tents? Well, it is exactly the same as that. It is cool how quick and easy it is to set up, but taking it down is another story. You have to twist and turn it which doing to the screen is easy, but the bit behind it requires a lot more twisting and turning to get down which was a little annoying. Still, once it is all standing up, it feels pretty solid. We just put a couple of stones on the back bit to keep it steady and it was good to go.
This works as a rear projection outdoor projector screen which I always like as it keeps the projector and the noise (ours is really loud) away from you. The quality of the screen is.. ok. It is not bad, but due to the pop up design, the wrinkles and folds can be seen. Now, this depends on what you are doing. My son and I were playing some NBA 2K17 and the wrinkles were very noticeable. But we did watch a few movies on here, Transformers and Minions. Both were great and after a short while, you do not notice the creases as much. To be fair, creases are an issue that most indoor projector screens have, especially the budget priced ones like we have here. Which by the way at under 80 bucks, the size and the ease of use do make it a good deal.
If you do not want to spend a ton of money and want something easy to use, but are not bothered about having the most amazing quality, you will be happy with this.
- Very affordable
- Good sized screen
- Offers rear projection
- Easy to set up
- Some people may not like the fact creases are noticeable
- Can be hard to put down
Non Inflatable Portable Outdoor Projector Screen Section
Visual Apex 144HD Portable Movie Theater Projector Screen 16:9 format Rev
Now, this is really cool, Visual Apex actually offers this in many different sizes starting from 110 inches all the way up to 144 inches and I was lucky enough to get to try the big one! First of all, there is a bit of set up required with this portable outdoor projector screen. You will have to assemble the frame and connect the screen to it. It sounds like a lot of work, but it is actually pretty easy to do and after you have done it a few times, you will have it set up in minutes. I really liked the framing, it feels solid, but at the same time, the aluminum they have used is nice and light. Ground pegs are included as are ropes so you can really secure this to the ground if you want.
As far as picture quality goes I was really blown away. This is only a front facing projector screen, so you cannot put your projector behind it. They have made sure the screen is as smooth as possible, no wrinkles or creases and the black backing on the back, while taking away the ability to use a projector in the rear, helps give a crystal clear image, I would go as far to say that out of all the projectors I got to try, this one offered the best image. We used it to watch Batman V Superman and Moana (for like the 50th time!) and both movies looked incredible. While the asking price of the big one is over 200 bucks, if you want the best quality image possible then it is well worth the money. Also if you are part of the 4K family, this screen is made with 4K in mind.
I loved this outdoor projector screen and while the price is high, I do think the incredible quality makes it worth it.
- Amazing image quality
- Black backing makes the image clearer
- Can be bought in a variety of sizes
- Comes with a bag to keep it all tidy when not in use
- Is one of the higher priced screens
- Does not offer rear projection
JaeilPLM 100-Inch Portable Outdoor Projection Screen Review
Last, but not least we have the JaeilPLM 100-Inch Wrinkle-Free Portable Outdoor Projection Screen. The version I got to check out was 100 inches, but they do make a 80 inch model. To be honest with you I would go for the 100 inch model as it is priced at around 120 bucks which is only ten bucks more than the smaller one. I know from the pictures, it looks like setting up all those poles would be a nightmare. But you are looking at ten minutes at the most and the frame when built is very sturdy. The frame holds the screen very well and due the to the PVC they have used and how tight the frame holds it, I never noticed a single wrinkle on the screen. It also comes with a handy bag so you can roll the screen up and tidy the frame away when movie night is done.
As far as the picture quality goes, I was very impressed. We do have a 4K Blu-Ray player and we checked out The Lego Batman Movie, which is an actual 4K Blu-Ray and it looked amazing! We even hooked the PS4 up to this and that looked incredible, as a matter of fact, my kids would have stayed out there all night if I had let them. Even just a standard DVD is going to look great on this thing, but due to the setup of the frame, it is worth noting this is a portable outdoor projector screen that is not really possible to be used with rear projection. Technically it is, but you would have a nightmare trying to position the projector so the frame is not in the way.
I loved the image quality of this projector and while the frame is solid and easy to put up. The overall look of it was not as nice as the others.
- Very good quality screen, especially 4K content
- Easy to set up
- Frame is very sturdy and strong
- Screen has no wrinkles
- Frame is a little bulky
- Rear projection is not really possible
Things To Consider When Buying An Outdoor Projector Screen
Not counting these four that I was given the chance to check out, I have used 7 different kinds of portable outdoor projector screen so it is something I do have a lot of experience with. I want to help you make your purchase of an inflatable outdoor projector screen or whatever kind you may buy a little easier by giving you a few tips on what to think about before you spend your money!
Size Matters: In an ideal world, you will get the largest projector screen you can afford. But that is not always the right way to go. Measure how much space you have in your garden, also consider if you will ever want to bring it inside the house as well. Do not just go for the larger option because it is there, make sure it will actually fit where you want it to go.
Bigger Is Not Always More Expensive: You will be shocked at how the prices can vary on a portable outdoor projector screen. Sometimes the bigger version is only a few bucks more than the smaller one so it may be worth thinking about spending the extra 20 or so bucks if you have the space for a larger screen.
Where Will Your Projector Go?: When it comes to an inflatable outdoor projector screen, most of them offer rear projection. But it is important to consider just where your actual projector is going to go. A few models of screens do not allow for rear projection so that is something to consider.
So What Is The Best Outdoor Projector Screen?
First of all, let me sit on the fence and say that all four of these did a good job and no matter if money is no issue or you want to be at under 100 bucks. One of these four is going to be a good purchase for you, I can assure you of that. But if I had to just pick one of these to watch movies on for the rest of my life. Then I would have to say that the best portable outdoor projector screen is the Visual Apex Projector Screen. Starting at 110 and going up to 144 inches makes them some of the bigger screens you can buy. Yes, the price is high, but if you want that super sharp image then this is the way to go. The asking price is very fair, especially when you consider just how well made it is and how good movies and video games look on this screen. If you want a real movie experience at home in the best visual quality possible, this is the outdoor projector screen for you!